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The NBA Finals MVP has only gone to a player on the losing team one time (Jerry West in the 1969 NBA Finals).
Dirk Nowitzki is making a case for this year to be another exception.
Since Dwyane Wade has played so well and his team is up 2-1 right now, he is in the lead for Finals MVP. However, Dirk has put on an absolute show in these Finals, particularly in the fourth quarter.
The Mavericks cannot put the same type of attention on Dwyane Wade that the Heat put on Dirk. If the Mavericks double Wade, he can get the ball to LeBron James or Chris Bosh. When the Heat double Dirk, his second and third options are not nearly as reliable.
Dirk's shots have all been difficult, yet he continues to make them. He's averaging a hair over 28 points per game and is pulling down 10 rebounds a contest. His defense has also been solid with blocked and altered shots.
What has been amazing about Dirk is his fourth-quarter play. Everyone in the gym knows the Mavericks want the ball in Dirk's hands, Miami's defense—one of the best defenses in the world—has set itself up to try and stop him, but he still hits clutch shots.
In Game 2, he scored his team's final nine points. In Game 3, more of the same, as Dirk scored 15 points in the fourth quarter.
I think it's time for us to realize Dirk does not have to win a title to be considered one of the greatest of all time. The performance he's putting on in these Finals has been incredible. His team needs to give him some help to win the title, but so far, he should win the Finals MVP regardless of the series outcome.